The Byzantine Empire
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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What is the course about?
Between 330 AD and 1453, Constantinople (modern Istanbul) was the capital of the Roman Empire, otherwise known as the Later Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, the Mediaeval Roman Empire, or The Byzantine Empire. For most of this time, it was the largest and richest city in Christendom. The territories of which it was the central capital enjoyed better protections of life, liberty and property, and a higher standard of living, than any other Christian territory, and usually compared favourably with the neighbouring and rival Islamic empires.
The purpose of this course is to give an overview of Byzantine history, from the refoundation of the City by Constantine the Great to its final capture by the Turks.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Students will be invited at the beginning of the course to make their own suggestions, and these will be taken into account by the teacher. For the moment, here are the proposed topics:
1. The Crisis of Rome (c220-280) and its Resolution: A New Religion and the Shift of Power to the East
2. 330-500: The Growth of the City and the Survival of its Empire
3. 150-700: Climate Change, Plague, Demographic Collapse – The True Engines of Historical Change
4. 500-628: The Long Age of Justinian
5. 634-718: The Islamic Challenge
6. The Byzantine Revolution
7. The Arts and Science of Byzantium
8. 718-1071: The Golden Age
9. 1096-1204: The Impact of the Crusades
10. 1204-1453: Decline and Fall.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
You will have an overview of the longest-lived civilisation in Western history – a civilisation that is often ignored, despite its vast cultural impact on the peoples of the West. You will understand the reasons for its survival and also its occasionally baffling internal disputes of religion and politics.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You are expected to have an interest in History and a desire to know more. The whole course and the various readings will be in English, and no understanding of foreign languages is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Illustrated lectures, group discussions, readings and questions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring writing material.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other ancient or classical civilisation course.
Sean has been teaching Greek and Latin for a very long time, and he loves what he does. While not doing that, he's made the time to write around forty books. These include twelve historical novels, by "Richard Blake," and published by Hodder & Stoughton. They also include editions of Book VI of "The Aeneid," the "Historia Langobardorum" of Paul the Deacon, and various parts of St Jerome's Latin version of The New Testament. One of his science fiction novels was nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.